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Bills Would Outlaw Employer Access To Personal Passwords

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A couple of bills; one filed in the Texas House and the other in the State Senate would make it illegal for employers to demand employees personal, social media passwords.

Both measures have the endorsement of the Texas American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

The organizations communications director, Ed Sills, said it’s an issue that millions of Texans who everything from social blogs to YouTube will weigh in on. “We think that when people look at the arguments on both sides that the balance is going to turn on privacy issues and the right to live your life outside the workplace without interference.”

The bills were filed by State Senator Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa from McAllen and Dallas State Representative Helen Giddings.

The issue of online privacy has social media regulations becoming commonplace. House Bill 318, proposed by Giddings, would “prohibit employers from requiring or requesting access to personal accounts of employees or job applicants through electronic communication devices.” But the restrictions in the bill would not apply to devices owned by a company.

Sills said, “The bills would make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to require you to give up your password to social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.”

The bills would apply to current employees and job applicants.

Six states already have laws that do essentially what the bills propose.

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